High Blood Pressure

What is it? How can you deal with it?

High blood pressure is a chronic disease in which the blood pressure in the arteries is higher than normal. This disease causes higher pressure on the heart and the circulatory system, which in turn have to make a greater effort to make blood flow. At the same time, high blood pressure is an important risk factor in the appearance of many heart diseases, such as coronary arteriopathy, heart failure, renal failure, ictus or stroke (which causes anomalies in neurological function and lasts more than 24 hours) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD). It is estimated that high blood pressure causes 54% of all strokes and 47% of all ischemic heart diseases in the world, and that more than a billion people in the world suffer from high blood pressure. This disease affects one quarter of the adult population of the world, and is the main cause of death worldwide.

What are the causes of high blood pressure?

Many factors can affect blood pressure, such as the amount of water and salt in the body, the state of the kidneys, as well as the state of the nervous system and blood vessels, hormone levels and aging. People with a higher risk of suffering high blood pressure are those who are obese, suffer from high levels of stress, drink too much alcohol, have a diet high in salt, have family history of high blood pressure, smoke, are diabetic, do not exercise and do not take enough potassium. Most of the time, there is no particular cause for high blood pressure, and we call than “essential hypertension”.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

Most of the time, there are no symptoms. Most of people detect this problem when they go to the doctor or have their blood pressure measured somewhere else. Due to the fact that there are no symptoms, people can develop heart diseases and renal problems without knowing they have hypertension.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

It can be diagnosed by examining the blood pressure, but this exam should be carried out many times to be 100% sure the results are correct. If a person has blood pressure of 140/90 or more over a period of time, it is likely that the doctor will diagnose high blood pressure. And if the patient has diabetes or a chronic renal disease, a value higher than 130/80 is considered to be high. It’s important to notice that values that indicate high blood pressure change in kids. Newly born babies often have very low blood pressure levels, while young people on the verge of becoming adults have very similar levels to adults, because blood pressure usually increases with age and body size. In order to know if a child has high blood pressure, a doctor would compare the levels this patient presents against the average values for children of a similar age, gender and height.

What does treatment of high blood pressure involve?

In order to treat high blood pressure, it is recommended to take medication as well as make some changes in lifestyle. Most patients will need treatment for life. It’s important to follow the plan, since it can prevent or delay problems related to this disease, and allow the patient to live and remain active for longer. Medication that doctors supply is designed to work in different ways, and it’s possible that the patient may need more than one medication to achieve the desired blood pressure values. Even though a medical treatment can work for many patients, many others do not achieve the desired values. In these patients, blood pressure remains high and uncontrolled, and this gives them a high and inadmissible risk of suffering a serious heart disease, such as a myocardial infarction or a stroke. If you are one of these patients, together with your doctor you may consider other alternatives, such as renal denervation.

What is a renal denervation?

One of the main kidney functions is to regulate blood pressure. It has been shown that hyperactivity in the nerves surrounding blood vessels that go to the kidneys (renal arteries) is an important factor for hypertension. Renal denervation is an almost non-invasive procedure that performs therapy in the tissue surrounding the renal arteries so as to interrupt hyperactivity in these nerves.


In order to control blood pressure, it is advisable to have a healthy diet for the heart, including potassium and fiber, and drinking a lot of water, exercising regularly, not smoking, reducing alcohol and salt intake, controlling stress and keeping body weight at healthy levels.